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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

From Fox News:

Activist groups, including Scouting for All, urge President Obama not to accept the honorary Presidency of the Boy Scouts of America until they stop discriminating.

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Mark Leno, California State Assemblyman
13th State Assembly District

Elected in 2002, Assemblyman Mark Leno represents the 13th State Assembly District, which encompasses the eastern portion of San Francisco, including the neighborhoods of the Bayview, Bernal Heights, Castro, Chinatown, Cow Hollow, Duboce Park, Excelsior, Fillmore, Financial District, Glen Park, Haight, Hunters Point, Marina, Mission, Nob Hill, Noe Valley, Pacific Heights, Panhandle, Park Merced, Potrero, Russian Hill, South of Market, Telegraph Hill, Tenderloin, Treasure Island, West of Twin Peaks and the Western Addition.

He is one of the first openly gay men elected to the Assembly and served as Chair of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) Caucus in 2004. He currently chairs the Public Safety Committee, and sits on the Appropriations, Election & Redistricting and Labor Committees. Prior to his election to the Assembly, Leno served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from April 1998 to November 2002.

During his first term, Assemblyman Leno was successful in getting 28 bills passed by the legislature and signed into law, including laws that protect Californians from gender based discrimination in housing and employment, amend the Ellis Act to preserve affordable housing for seniors and the disabled, streamline the administration of rapid HIV tests to at risk populations, allow rehabilitated drug offenders to access food stamps and allow San Francisco to build large-scale solar systems on public buildings. He also served as chair of the Select Committees on LGBT Families and Childhood Obesity & Related Diabetes.

Leno’s current legislative package includes proposals to allow California farmers to grow industrial hemp, reinstate parental rights for legal orphans, collect more information on the safety of taser usage, reform the three-strikes law, provide a funding source for the arts in California, reinstate San Francisco’s vehicle license fees to pay for critical city services, sell hybrid vehicles over the internet, protect the local Dungeness crab industry, and allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in the state.

Leno has been honored for his public service by many organizations. In the fall of 2004, he received of the Award of Courage from American Foundation for AIDS Research and he was honored by the Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association of Los Angeles at their 25th Anniversary Gala for his commitment to marriage equality. In July of 2003, he was awarded the Housing Hero of the Year awarded by the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition. Additionally, Leno was proud to receive honors from the American Heart Association, the California Association of Food Banks and Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays.

A native of Wisconsin, Leno attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, then went on to become valedictorian of his graduating class at the American College of Jerusalem, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree. Leno also spent two years in Rabbinical Studies at The Hebrew Union College in New York. He is the owner of Budget Signs, Inc., a small business he founded in 1978 and operated with his life partner, Douglas Jackson. Together the two entrepreneurs steadily grew their sign business until Jackson passed away from complications relating to HIV/AIDS in 1990. This deep loss would not deter Leno. Instead, he redoubled his efforts in community service.

While on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Leno authored landmark legislation in the areas of affordable housing, universal health care for children, solar energy, late night entertainment, bond oversight, small business services, City CarShare, medical cannabis, equal access to services, and LGBT civil rights.

He has served on the boards of many local and national organizations including the LGBT Community Center Project, Haight Ashbury Community Services, the American Jewish Congress, Mobilization Against AIDS, and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. He is the recipient of the 1995 Small Business Owner of the Year Award from the Small Business Network, the 1995 Hormel Community Service Award from the Human Rights Campaign and the James R. Sylla Award from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

Outside of his capacity as an elected official, Leno has been a tireless supporter of nonprofit organizations in San Francisco, frequently appearing to show support at events and lending a hand wherever possible. He was a statewide spokesman for the No on Prop 22 Campaign (the Knight Initiative) and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in August 2000 and 2004.

Statement of Support from Assemblyman, 13 District Mark Leno




Scouting For All is not an alternative scouting program.
We are an education and advocacy organization reaching out to gay and nontheist youth and adults in our effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its exlusionary policy.

Any communications sent to Scouting for All or any Scouting for All representative may be published on the Scouting for All web site or in Scouting for All materials unless the communication specifically requests that it not be published.

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